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FWCS buys former car wash; school to have more parking

Visitors to North Side High School will one day have access to more parking with the district's purchase of a car wash formerly owned by Kelley Chevrolet.

Fort Wayne Community School board members unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to move forward with the $328,500 purchase of the property at 505 E. State Blvd. The land will be paid for out of the district's Capital Projects Fund.

Board member Steve Corona was not present at Tuesday's board meeting.

The decision to buy the land was in part because of a need for additional parking and more lawn area, but also wanted to provide a more visible view of the front entrance of the school, board President Mark GiaQuinta explained.

"It's one of those parcels you just want to own," GiaQuinta said.

"It's really important for us to control this land (surrounding North Side)," he added.

It was not clear Tuesday when the project to complete a new parking lot and additional lawn would begin.

Board member Lisa Olinger asked district leaders to consult the city about not allowing vehicles to turn left from State Boulevard into what will be the new parking area.

Olinger said she knows of many accidents where vehicles have turned left and been "T-boned" by oncoming traffic.

Facilities Director Darren Hess said the district could approach the city and request a change but signs are already in place to prohibit drivers from turning left during certain hours.

Also on Tuesday, the board approved a contract with Hamilton Hunter Builders Inc. for renovations to the Snider High School kitchen and serving line.

The total contract will cost the district $1,573,165 and will be paid for by the district's REPAIR project as part of the School Building Basic Renewal/Restoration & Safety Project and the Nutritional Services Equipment Reserve account.

The work is expected to be completed by August.

The board also elected officers during Tuesday's meeting.

GiaQuinta will continue to serve as board president, Julie Hollingsworth will serve as board vice president and Corona will serve as board secretary.